Category Archives: Lebanon

Tripoli’s Flying Lanterns Night To Celebrate Eid

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Photo Credits: Natheer Halawani

This year marks the fifth edition of the “Flying Lanterns” night (#‏نور_دربن‬), where Tripolitans gather to welcome Eid by lightening Tripoli’s sky with lanterns and collecting money to put less fortunate children back in school and help build libraries and schools. Over 1000 Tripolitans took part this year flying 1500 lanterns and collecting around 4 million Liras. This may seem like a small amount but it will help complete a library in Hay el Tanak (Tin Neighborhood), one of the most deprived areas in all of Lebanon with little-to-no infrastructure.

tri3 Photo Credits: Wael Al Jarrash

As you can see from the pictures, the atmosphere is quite amazing as more and more people are joining the event every year to light up Tripoli skies and brighten up a child’s future.

tri2 Photo Credits: Aya M. AL Sayyed

tri1 Photo Credits: Sima Hilal

Tri5 Wael Jarrah Photo Credits: Wael Al Jarrash


Beirut Third Most Expensive City To Live in The Region, After Dubai & Abu Dhabi

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The Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey 2016 is out and Dubai topped MENA Cities as the most expensive location for employees working abroad. Beirut ranked as the third most expensive city regionally and the 50th most expensive city in the world.

Mercer’s survey includes 209 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment. The survey is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees. New York is used as the base city, and all cities are compared against it. Currency movements are measured against the US$. [Article]

Top 10 most expensive cities to live in the MENA region:
1- Dubai
2- Abu Dhabi
3- Beirut
4- Riyadh
5- Manama
6- Doha
7- Cairo
8- Muscat
9- Kuwait City
10- Jeddah

Of course what’s worth looking at is the quality of living that is associated with this high cost of living. Beirut ranked in that report 180th worldwide and last in the MENA region.

Top 10 ranked Arab cities in the 2016 quality of living report
1- Dubai (75)
2- Abu Dhabi (81)
3- Muscat (107)
4- Doha (110)
5- Kuwait City (124)
6- Manama (133)
7- Riyadh (164)
8- Jeddah (165)
9- Cairo (171)
10- Beirut (180)

Here’s Why It’s Safe To Walk At Night in Lebanon

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I can’t stop laughing every time I read this [story]. The sad part though is that it’s no longer that safe to walk in the streets at night as a lot of girls are being harassed and the cops are barely doing anything to catch these offenders.

On another note, it’s perfectly safe for a girl wearing a skirt to walk at night in Dubai and there are pubs and night clubs just like Lebanon now.

Lebanese Sarah Beydoun, Founder of Sarah’s Bag, Receives The 2016 Oslo Business for Peace Award

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Sarah [Photo Credits]

The Oslo-based foundation “Business for Peace” grants every year the Oslo Business for Peace Award to up to seven honourees “in recognition of their individual and outstanding business-worthy contribution to the building of trust, stability and peace”. The honourees are selected by previous Peace and Economics Nobel prize winners.

This year, Sarah Beydoun, the founder and creative director of Sarah’s bag, was granted this prestigious award and became the first honoree from the fashion industry. Sarah started her business in 2000 and has created a line of luxurious bags and accessories handmade by underprivileged women, prisoners and former female prisoners under the name “Sarah’s bag”.

Here’s what Business For Peace said about Ms. Beydoun:

Ms Sarah Beydoun, Lebanon: Ms Beydoun is the founder and creative director of Sarah’s Bag. This internationally successful company has a business model that includes social rehabilitation for underprivileged women who learn valuable skills and earn an income as well as a sense of dignity and empowerment. By following her heart – both for fashion and women at risk – Ms Beydoun has created a robust business despite the difficult circumstances in the region.

[Barakabits] spoke more in details about Sarah’s business and this award.

And here’s more about the Business For Peace foundation:

The Business for Peace is an Oslo-based foundation that works to redefine the notion of success in business and to promote an evolved form of capitalism. This endeavour is manifested by recognising exceptional individuals who exemplify the concept of being businessworthy. That is, applying one’s business energy ethically and responsibly to create value for all. An independent committee of Nobel laureates in peace and economics selects the Honourees from a pool of nominees put forward by our global partners in the United Nations and the International Chamber of Commerce. By facilitating this process and promoting these individuals, the vision is to unlock the positive power that lays in business to the benefit of peace and prosperity. [Source]

Jennifer Nkuene Riria of Kenya andTore Lærdal of Norway were also named the 2016 Business for Peace Honourees. This year’s Oslo Business For Peace Summit theme will be “The Opportunities for Business to Act as a Problem Solver in Society”.

Looking Back At All The Germany – Italy World Cup & Euro Encounters

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Ger Ital

I’ve been supporting Germany since 1990 and it was painful seeing them lose to Italy on so many occasions, especially when Die Mannschaft had the better team.

1962 World Cup in Santiago, Chile

West Germany drew against Italy 0-0 in the group stage at the 1962 World Cup held in Santiago.

1970 World Cup in Mexico:

I’ve seen highlights from this game tens of times. It’s known as the “Game of the century” and ended with Italy defeating Germany 4-3. Beckenbauer was leading the German team.

1978 World Cup in Argentina:

Germany met Italy in Group A and drew 0-0.

1982 World Cup at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Madrid:

Italy convincingly defeated Germany 3-1 in the final game.

Euro Cup 1988 in Germany:

Germany failed to win the Euro at home and lost to the Netherlands in the semi-finals. Rudi Voller, Jürgen Klinsmann, Lothar Matthäus & Andreas Brehme were on the team. I found the full game [here].

Euro Cup 1996 in England:

Matthias Sammer led Germany to their first European title as a unified country. Sammer is one of the greatest defensive midfielder/sweepers in the history of football and was my hero as a teenager. (I always used to play defense or a defensive midfielder in football).

2006 World Cup in Germany

Germany failed once again to win the World Cup at home and lost against Italy in the semi-finals. They had a strong squad but Klinsmann’s defense wasn’t good enough and Italy managed to score twice. The first goal was an amazing shot.

2012 Euro Cup in Poland & Ukraine

Germany played a weak game against the Italians but I have to say Balotelli was a bit too lucky also.

And of course there’s the 2016 epic quarter final that took place yesterday and saw Germany end the Italian curse once and for all!

The Problem Was Never Parking Tariffs in Beirut, but Valet Parking Tariffs

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parking fees

Beirut’s governor Ziad Chbib issued new parking tariffs for Beirut yesterday which were distributed as follows:

Blue Zone (Qoreitem, Manara, Ras Beirut, Serail, Raouche, Bab Idriss, Minet el Hosn): 3000 to 7000 LL
Green Zone (Mousseitbeh, Tallet el Khayyat, Wata): 3000 to 6000 LL
Yellow Zone (Achrafieh, Mar Mikhail, Hekmeh, Sioufi, Hotel Dieu, Mar Elias, Unesco): 2500 to 4000 LL
Red Zone (Bachoura, Mazraa, Tarik Jdeide, Bourj Abi Haidar): 2500 to 4000 LL

It’s definitely a good initiative but one that will be impossible to implement because of Valet Parking companies, especially in Beirut. When valet people book all the park meter spots and take over parking lots, they will simply tell customers there are no spots left and force them to give their cars to the valet and pay a minimum of 5000 LL. The only thing that needs regulation in Beirut and outside it are valet companies.

On another note, who do we report violations to? Do I call the ISF at 11 PM and tell them the parking guy made me pay 4000 LL instead of 3000 LL?

I’m sure the governor has good intentions but we all saw how his decision to ban illegally placed election posters was widely ignored. In fact, there are still posters hanging all over Beirut up until now, including those of the current municipality.

lbc tarifss via LBC

Lebanese Wines Marsyas & Bargylus Featured In France’s Le Monde

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Karim and Sandro Saadé, the two brothers and owners of Château Marsyas in Lebanon and Domaine de Bargylus in Syria got a special two-page feature in the French daily newspapers Le Monde, one of the most important and widely respected papers in France and the world.

The report. entitled “The Grapes of Hope” was more than just publicity for the well-established wines but also aimed at portraying the positive side of Lebanon and the perseverance of wine makers despite the circumstances and the ongoing Syrian crisis.


Lebanon is among the oldest sites of wine production in the world and our wines are celebrated worldwide. Personally speaking, Marsyas and Bargylus are among my top 5 favorite Lebanese wines. In fact, I’m gonna have a Bqa Marsyas Rouge tonight while watching Germany defeat Italy 😀

Congrats to the Saade brothers for this special feature and for their resilience in producing wine in Lebanon and more specifically in Syria despite being unable to access the estate there since 2011.

Cheers to better days ahead for Lebanon and the whole Middle East!

You can check out the full report [here].

#LiveLoveLebanon: Promoting Rural Lebanon & Lebanese Traditional Guest Houses

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If you want take a journey into the heart of rural Lebanon, there are tens of gorgeous guesthouses located in breathtaking locations and offering an authentic Lebanese experience. To name few:

Bouyouti – Maasser Beiteddine
Mtein Guesthouse – Mtein
Tafla – Smar Jbeil
Eco Dalida – Tannourine
Esber Guesthouse – Rachaya el Fokhar
Dar Mehdi – Rachaya el Wadi
Akram Guesthouse – Barouk
Beit Douma – Douma
Der Qadisha – Hasroun
Beit el Nessim – Al Mina Tripoli
Remhala Guesthouse – Aley
Dar Alma – Tyre
Dar Linda – Deir el Qamar
Dar el Achrafieh – Achrafieh

You can check out information for some of them on [hotelibanais].

I loved the video and the music. Another job well done by The Ministry of Tourism!